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How Beanie Baby Peanut the Elephant is Worth $7,000

Ty Warner is a person just like any of us. Hailing to Chicago, he had a very simple dream. He wanted to create plush toy animals that the world would love. Little did he know what would end up happening next! He crafted the original Beanie Babies in his condo during the middle of the 1990s, and a cultural phenomenon was spawned soon after.

Warner had an inkling of what could take place, but it is safe to say that he never could have expected what would transpire. In his mind, he could create something rare and valuable for the world to enjoy. He has not only met this goal, he’s managed to exceed it as well. Peanut the Elephant is the Beanie Baby who serves as the best example.

At first, Ty only sold a limited number of the the initial run Beanie Babies and from there, they were quickly retired. However, a local group of soccer moms was unwilling to let the Beanie Babies rest. They knew that they could turn these relatively small investments into something much greater. This is how Peanut the Elephant came to prominence.

The royal blue first edition Peanut the Elephant is now worth up to $7,000, and these numbers are not slated to decrease anytime soon. To learn more about why Peanut has the highest Beanie Baby value, please be sure to read on. Thanks to this helpful guide, you can learn everything you need to know.

The History

H. Ty Warner was born in 1944. He was raised in the city of Chicago, Illinois, growing up alongside his parents and sister in a nearby suburb. Once he graduated from college, Warner decided to pursue his first love. At this time, he packed up and headed to Hollywood in hopes of making his acting dreams come true.

While the acting bug bit him at a young age, this dream did not work out as Warner hoped. That’s when he decided to return to his native Chicago. It was time to join the real world, and he took a job working at the Dakin toy company with his father. Warner then spent 18 years working as a sales representative for the company, developing a reputation for his eccentric demeanor.

There was a method to Warner’s madness, however. By behaving in a more outlandish manner on his sales calls, this allowed him to get in to see the buyers more frequently. In 1980, he decided that it was time to leave the company altogether. From there, he booked a trip to Italy to spend some time with his friends.

During this trip, he could not help but to notice all of the plush toys that the local children were playing with. He took this inspiration with him back to Chicago and began to brainstorm. That’s when he began to build his own company, working out of the suburban Chicago condo he resided in.

His initial brainchild was a line of collectible stuffed bears. Each set of bears was released on an annual basis. In the early 1990s, he developed the idea that would soon evolve into the Beanie Babies that we know and love today. He stopped using the stuffing that would typically be utilized for these toys, swapping it out for the titular beans.

From there, Warner came up with another innovation. Instead of stuffing each toy with as many beans as possible, he filled them up with fewer beans. This would make each toy far more pliable and create a more lifelike appearance. The special swing and tush tags added another nice touch.

Warner even added poems to some of the tags, making the toys even more endearing to the parents and children who purchased them. His business savvy also came in handy because he knew it would not be long before collectors became interested. That’s why he began to sell his creations to smaller, independent toy companies.

Peanut the Elephant was the Beanie Baby that was retired at the earliest. In all likelihood, this was a premeditated move by Warner designed to drive the toy's value upward. Once the collector's craze started to take place, the toys began to move like hotcakes, and Peanut beanie baby's value also started to skyrocket.

By keeping the supplies limited, Warner drove the value of his Beanie Babies even higher. 1998 rolled around, and by then, his company (Ty, Inc.) had sold over $1.4 billion of plush toys. Now, let’s take a closer look at the lifespan of Peanut the Elephant.

What Makes Peanut the Elephant Rare and Expensive?

Before we get into the reasoning behind Peanut the Elephant’s rarity and expensiveness, the time has come to examine the unique journey this plush toy has taken over the years. Peanut was first released to the general public on June 3, 1995. During the first year of Ty, Inc., Peanut was one of nine sold Beanie Babies.

The elephant is royal blue, with white ears. The classic swing tag was present, and Warner even came up with a special poem in Peanut’s honor:

  • Peanut the elephant walks on tip-toes
  • Quietly sneaking wherever she goes
  • She’ll sneak up on you and a hug
  • You will get
  • Peanut is a friend you won’t soon forget!

Peanut also came with a tush tag in the same black and white coloration as all of the other Beanie Babies. Legend has it that Peanut’s royal blue coloration was actually the product of a factory mistake. Others believe that this was Ty’s original choice and that he simply was not happy with the sales figures of the original Peanut.

His business partner and former girlfriend, Patricia Roche, gave him the perfect idea. She told him that he should change the color of Peanut to a baby blue. The original royal blue color was retired in the fall of 1995, and that’s when baby blue Peanuts became the dominant color scheme.

Because of the distinct coloration and the rapid removal from store shelves made Peanut the Elephant the most valuable Beanie Baby. Collectors sought to make major profits from reselling the Beanie Baby, and he was even given a high-profile re-release in 1998.

McDonald’s included the original Peanut with their Happy Meals, a move that took place as part of their Teenie Babies promotion. The Gigglebellies even released a song that was dedicated to Peanut, solidifying the plush toy’s place in Beanie Baby lore.

How Did The Beanie Baby Craze Kick Off?

Of course, everyone is aware of the Beanie Baby collectors’ craze, and many would argue that Peanut the Elephant is the plush toy responsible for kicking it all off. A group of soccer moms from suburban Chicago would soon notice that the Beanie Babies could only be found in smaller independent toy stores. Since only six of each toy were produced before being quickly retired, they knew that there was money to be made in the secondary market.

After realizing this, they began contacting various toy stores around the country. It did not take long for them to learn that the stores had plenty of customers who were searching for rare Beanie Babies. This provided them with an opportunity to strike.

The team of mothers could sell the Beanie Babies to the rest of the country themselves and turn a tidy profit in the process. No advertising was needed for the Beanie Babies to take off. The craze kicked off through pure word of mouth. Once word started to spread, collecting magazines began to cover the toys.

Peggy Gallagher is one of the original collectors who was responsible for spreading the Beanie Baby gospel. In 1996, she wrote an article for Rosie’s Collectors’ Bulletin, noting that Peanut the Elephant had become the single rarest Beanie Baby. She was even willing to offer her readers a pricing guide for the values of the rest of the toys.

The following year, a New Jersey dad created his own pricing guide. Entitled The Beanie Baby Handbook, the guide sold over a million copies quickly. At this time, he established Peanut the Elephant’s pricing point at $4,000 and predicted it would rise to $7,000. It is safe to say that he was correct. So why is Peanut the Beanie Baby with the most value? We are here to provide further insight….

What Makes Peanut the Elephant Rare and Expensive?

A few different factors need to be considered as to why Peanut the Elephant is the most valuable Beanie Baby. Before we begin, a hat tip to the good folks over at ‘90s Toys for providing us with the additional information. Take a moment to check out the following guide to find out more about what makes these toys so rare and expensive.

Lack of Mass Production

Since the original Beanie Babies were never mass-produced, this cuts down on the number of them that are currently available. The price hike for those looking to procure a Peanut the Elephant of their own is directly related to the lack of currently available options. This is a classic case of supply and demand.

A few questions must be answered before any Beanie Baby can be found, and Peanut the Elephant is no exception to this rule. You will need to know how long the toy was produced and if a sizable number of them are available. With Peanut the Elephant, we already have the answers to these questions.

Let’s be honest; not many of these are to be had. Peanut the Elephant will not be found lounging in your grandmother’s closet. It is already a well-known fact that they are few and far between. This is one of many reasons Peanut is the costliest Beanie Baby on the market.

Age

Regarding toys of this nature, their age will always play a major role. The age of the Beanie Baby is especially important. Collectibles are always going to follow this rule, regardless of their origin. A Beanie Baby that has not been produced since the original run will always be more valuable than a newer one.

The fact that Peanut the Elephant is now coming up on the 30-year mark will only continue to add to its value. If a Beanie was produced within the past 5 to 10 years, it does not stand a chance of garnering the same value as an older toy. Think of the Beanie Baby as a fine wine. The longer it has to sit, the higher the value will climb.

Materials Used

Did you know that the materials used to make Peanut the Elephant are actually different from the materials utilized in the present day? This is a major contributing factor to the rising prices. While in most instances, those who lament how “they don’t make ’em like they used to” are suffering from false nostalgia, in this instance?

They are 100 percent correct. Nowadays, when you purchase a Beanie Baby, they are filled with plastic pellets. When Peanut the Elephant was first made, the company crafted them using PVC and PE. Since PVE and PE are each known to be more valuable than the plastic pellets, it is easy to see why the older toys are so highly sought after.

Of course, there are some who may be wondering how they can find out more about the fillings that are used. After all, it is not like you can slice the Beanie Baby open, right? Not to worry, though. All you have to do is take a closer look at the plush toy’s tush tag, which will tell you everything you need to know.

Condition

This one should go without saying, but it does bear mentioning. Your Peanut the Elephant Beanie Baby is only going to be as valuable as the condition that it is in. That $7,000 price tag sounds great on paper, but you cannot fetch that asking price unless it is in the proper condition.

How well was the Peanut the Elephant in question been preserved? If the Beanie Baby has been kept in a dingy, moldy basement for 20-plus years, this is going to be diminished. If your child has been playing with it or it has been resting on your dashboard, the value will have plummeted. Peanuts must be kept in a cool, dry place to receive the desired payday.

A Final Word

It is safe that the New Jersey father’s initial prediction has come true. If you purchased a Peanut the Elephant during the initial run, this $5 investment is now worth $7,000. As a final warning, please ensure your Beanie Baby is not counterfeit. The fake Peanuts have longer napes and shorter trunks than the real McCoy. The ears are not sewn on as smoothly, and the fabric is much rougher. The tush tag must also be in black and white, with a 1995 copyright. Happy hunting, everyone!

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Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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